Updated: Jan 26
The top of every year is a time where creatives around the world gather for the highest honor in music, the Grammy Awards.
It is the coveted award symbolizing the years of endurance to reach world acknowledgment most artists aspire for.
But for rising artist JXXIII (J23), there’s more to music than the one pinnacle moment and that is, telling consistently an authentic story through music.
Born and raised in Atlanta, GA, JXXIII, is a first generation Nigerian American. Coming from a Christian Home, watching secular music videos or stations like BET was forbidden.
In 2nd grade however while sneaking to watch BET, she saw 3-time Grammy Award Winner and Rapper Nelly perform his hit song Country Grammar.
And instantly, she fell in love with what she called a true freedom of expression.
By the time she reached high school, JXXIII got into poetry where she honed her craft as a lyricist.
While attending Valdosta State University, JXXIII decided to take her craft more seriously investing in music equipment to self record, mix and master her projects.
She released her first mix tape in 2012, “Virtues and Vices,” and throughout her college tenure, she released subsequent mix tapes including, “Street Poetry: 06/12,” in 2013 and “Indie Visual,” in 2014 and "Street Poetry Vol. 2," in 2015.
After graduating college with her degree in Business Marketing, JXXIII began to develop the business side of her music creating her own music label, Crown All Queens (CAQ) Records.
Vocally and lyrically adept; songs like, “On my Vegan,” “Chess,” and “Right Around,” speak to her authentic and one of a kind trajectory that sets her as a rebirth of the early 2000’s Lauryn Hill. Her style truly sets her apart from the current music pack.
With a new EP, we had the opportunity to talk with JXXIII about remaining an authentic artist, the turning points as a rising artist and how it is so important to embrace authentic possibilities.
What is the best word that describes to what led you to where you are today? And why?
Groundbreaking, because I didn’t see people around me putting out music like me.
I always aim to portray a positive message without being too edgy; therefore, maintaining authenticity is important to me.
That is one of reasons why I started my own label, CAQ Records, to direct the message and vision as a woman of color.
What are your daily spiritual practices?
I definitely meditate and I have my quiet time.
It is a reminder of who I am, why I am doing what I do and where I am going.
It is a time to talk with God.
I wouldn’t say I am an introvert, but I definitely need my space and my time to just think because as women we can take on so much and so many roles.
Sometimes we forget to put ourselves first, so I always make sure I am putting me first.
I also try to drink a lot of water and watch what I eat as well because I notice it is all about how you feel.
I have not always been this way, but it is a journey. I feel like I have had an awakening within the last few years.
I believe everyone has however, there is a shift in mental health awareness, what we are eating, our mental state and how we take care of ourselves.
Lastly, I am always reflecting and making sure I am not taking things too personal.
For me it’s best to not overthink things or try to overcompensate situations; yet, maintain my awareness and discernment in everything.
What have obstacles taught you?
Honestly looking back, I look at things I could have done differently on my path.
Nonetheless, obstacles have taught me how important it is to be true to yourself.
For me coming out of college, I did not land a job right away.
And being a child of Nigerian parents, climbing up the corporate ladder means a lot.
It took years until I landed an opportunity, but in that time developed me which in turn, developed my entrepreneurial endeavors with my music and I have met amazing people along the way.
At one point, I had to sell my mic and pawn my equipment and that crushed me.
I needed that stuff!
But after that, I took some time as a hiatus and out of that came the song, “Chess.”
My music is coming from those experiences and spaces too.
So you have to be true to yourself because they’re going to be things to test who you are and what you stand for.
What does embrace possibilities mean to you?
To me that means don’t second guess yourself and when something comes your way, give it a chance.
This new age we live in now, we have to capitalize on everything because the metrics are different.
Embracing possibilities means jumping on every opportunity you can and be receptive and open to them all.
If you could sum up your life’s purpose in three words, what would it be?
Helping Motivating and Loving.
Creating Her Own Path Along the Way
Motivating through the masses of her music, JXXIII is planning to tour in the next year as well as collaborating with more artists implementing her Nigerian roots in her music and embracing every possibility before her.
“There were times I wanted to give up being an artist.
Transitioning from being a college student to adult life as an indie artist was challenging.”
These challenges are channels everyone‘s trying to navigate.
That is the source of JXXIII’s inspiration.
“A lot of people say they look up to me and my music. They appreciate me continually pushing my music despite the ups and downs. That means a lot to me. It is part of my purpose in sharing love and helping others through my music.”
Unfortunately and wishfully, a manual isn’t given to us at birth.
Yet, we encounter brave creative souls willing to be vulnerable enough to give us reflection and a great soundtrack to our lives while we figure it out.
JXXIII is one of them.
To checkout JXXIII’s music, it is available on:
Connect with JXXIII!
For booking, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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